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Kudos0

Why does Norton Security keep information on downloaded files?

A few days ago, I downloaded a program which was compressed into a .rar file from a file hosting website. I extracted all of the files in a folder and deleted the original .rar file. I then cleaned my browser history and cache. Today, I was going to install that program which was in the .rar file but suddenly, I got a pop-up from SONAR Protection, saying it is not safe. When I looked at the log in Norton Security, it showed the complete URL of the downloaded .rar file. Where does Norton Security keep information of downloaded files from file hosting websites? I would really like to clear the history, as it is basically a privacy concern.

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Why does Norton Security keep information on downloaded files?

You can read the privacy policy here:  https://www.symantec.com/privacy/norton-privacy-english

Symantec does collect URL and IP address information in order to discover fraudulent and malicious websites.  This is something you agree to in the EULA.  You can clear the file from Quarantine or Resolved Security Risks in Norton history.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Why does Norton Security keep information on downloaded files?

S Malik:

...When I looked at the log in Norton Security, it showed the complete URL of the downloaded .rar file. Where does Norton Security keep information of downloaded files from file hosting websites? I would really like to clear the history, as it is basically a privacy concern.

Hi S Malik:

Further to SendOfJive's comment, there are multiple logs you would have to clear in your security history if you want to erase the download URL and all other information about downloaded files on your local computer, including the Download Insight logs (i.e., go to Security | History | Download Insight and click the Clear Entries button as shown below).  Just be aware that if you clear the security history under Resolved Security Risks, Unresolved Security Risks and/or Quarantine you will not be able to restore these files from quarantine or submit the SHA256 hash (digital fingerprint) for further analysis if you suspect there was false positive detection (see comments below).

Go to Security | History | Norton Community Watch and double-click on the entries logged there to see details about the data collected from your system that is being sent back to Norton for analysis. If you have privacy concerns about the type of data Norton is collecting from your system then it might make more sense to disable Norton Community Watch submissions instead of clearing security logs stored on your local computer.  From the support article Norton Community Watch:

"Norton Community Watch only collects information on running processes, visited URLs, or general system information from your computer when Norton detects a possible risk.."

You can disable Norton Community Watch data submissions at the following settings:    

  • Settings | Administrative Settings | Norton Community Watch | Detailed Data Error Collection | Never
  • Settings | Administrative Settings | Norton Community Watch | Off

A few days ago, I downloaded a program which was compressed into a .rar file from a file hosting website. I extracted all of the files in a folder and deleted the original .rar file. I then cleaned my browser history and cache. Today, I was going to install that program which was in the .rar file but suddenly, I got a pop-up from SONAR Protection, saying it is not safe...

Note that individual files bundled inside a compressed archive (e.g., ZIP, .RAR, etc.) are not scanned by Download Insight when they are downloaded, but if a suspicious/malicious file is bundled inside it will be detected by your Auto-Protect real-time protection after the compressed archive is unpacked and the .exe file is launched.  See VWood's thread Norton Keeps Deleting .EXE Files for instructions on how to submit the suspicious/malicious file or SHA256 hash (the file's digital signature that can be found in the Quarantine or Resolved Security Risks sections of your security history if the .exe file is deleted/quarantined by Norton) to VirusTotal.com for further analysis just in case the detection by Norton is a false positive.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * Norton Security Deluxe v22.15.1.8

Kudos0

Re: Why does Norton Security keep information on downloaded files?

I already have 'Norton Community Watch' disabled. I always clear 'Full History'. The downloaded file information that I reported above was there until I uninstalled Norton Security completely and deleted C:\ProgramData\Norton, including the subfolders and all the rest of the files. Then, I reinstalled Norton Security again. I am trying to figure out where this information is being saved in C:\ProgramData\Norton.